2006 Torbreck 'The Steading'

A giant figure on the wine scene in Australia's Barossa Valley, Dave Powell makes a whole slew of terrific wines, but my favorite has to be "The Steading." The name is a term for the collection of barns, stables and outbuildings on a farm. Taste the 2006 and its wallop of fruit, layers of spice and plums and dark berries, along with its depth and complexity, pull you right in.

Made from a blend of 60% Grenache and 20% each Shiraz and Mataro (Mourvédre), mostly from old, ungrafted vines, the Steading is a New World Châteauneuf-du-Pape with enough stuffing to stand up to its Old World counterpart.

Ready for anything, it loves a char on beef, and it would be terrific with a thick prime rib grilled over mesquite. Open a bottle for a roasted leg of lamb too, or some ribs given a dry-rub rather than a sweet sauce.

-- S. Irene Virbila Region: Barossa Valley, Australia

Price: About $33

Style: Rich and powerful

What it goes with: Grilled or roasted beef, leg of lamb, ribs.

Where to find it: K&L Wine Merchants in Hollywood, (323) 464-9463, www; and the Wine House in West Los Angeles, (310) 479-3731, www.winehouse.

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